Thomas Schaefer comments on the status of the evaluation of the 'Panama Papers' at a press conference in Frankfurt. File / AP
Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution's office said they believe he died by suicide.
"We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all we are immensely sad," Bouffier said in a recorded statement.
Hesse is home to Germany's financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. The European Central Bank is also located in Frankfurt.
A visibly shaken Bouffier recalled that Schaefer, who was Hesse's finance chief for 10 years, had been working "day and night" to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.
"Today we have to assume that he was deeply worried," said Bouffier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"It's precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him," he added.
Popular and well-respected, Schaefer had long been touted as a possible successor to Bouffier.
Like Bouffier, Schaefer belonged to Merkel's centre-right CDU party.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Merkel announced steps on Wednesday to ease the coronavirus lockdown in Germany but at the same time launched an "emergency brake" mechanism allowing for renewed restrictions in case infections pick up again.
"The scenario of the coronavirus reaching multiple countries, if not all countries around the world, is something we have been looking at and warning against since quite a while."
Authorities concerned affirmed that the UAE is cooperating with competent Iranian authorities to facilitate the operation as per operating systems and procedures and to ensure the safety of visitors and those responsible for the evacuation operations.
Expatriates living in the UAE were elated as their family members, colleagues, friends stuck in other countries are now able to return as the UAE has lifted restriction on incoming flights from Monday onwards.
The Committee explained that the new guidelines take into account the exceptional situations of some categories of people including people of determination, children, and those with chronic respiratory conditions.
The UAE will today (Monday) start receiving residents with valid residence visas, who were stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic from various countries.